Add HDR Light Studio when the Model and Materials are Perfect

To make a realistic, high quality CGI image, you need everything to be right; a perfect 3D model with realistic shaders/materials that react to light (illuminations and reflections) correctly, with render settings that balance sensible render times with a high image quality. Only when all of those ingredients are working well you can start lighting a shot to a high standard using HDR Light Studio.

Continue reading

VRED Artists: Third Floor Company GmbH

Nissan X-Trail

About Third Floor Company
Third Floor Company produces high quality CGI projects, specializing in automotive imagery. The company was founded in 2009 by the German car photographer Steffen Schrägle. Since 1999, he has worked for many large car brands and was able to bring the CGI processes into car photography. Third Floor Company was primarily set up to provide a quick turnaround of CGI imagery, whilst maintaining the high-quality standards required by clients.

The photographic experience on-location plus the understanding of CGI processes creates the perfect foundation for a flexible and professional workflow. The photographer’s perspective and understanding are hugely beneficial – from the first moment concept layouts are sent, to the final end product. Over the years, Third Floor Company has developed an effective system not only for data management and preparation for its clients but also for data evaluations, data repair/modeling, through to the final high-end image production. Continue reading

Sophie’s Progress – Watch Project

Sophies Progress

My first project at Lightmap was to download a 3D watch model and texture, light and render within Maya and Arnold. Although the model was good, it was not smooth or detailed as required, so I re-modelled a large part of the watch to increase the detail required for a high quality render and optimised the remaining elements, tweaking and altering to achieve a smooth and detailed outcome.

banner Continue reading

HDR Light Studio – Carbon Release

HDR Light Studio - Carbon Release

Tighter integrations bring leading 3D Renderers
inside HDR Light Studio

Thursday 15th February 2018 – Today, Lightmap announces the immediate availability of HDR Light Studio – Carbon Release.

What’s the Carbon Release?

This new major release of HDR Light Studio is called Carbon – the element used in the filament of the first commercially available light bulbs. Version numbers have now been replaced with nick names.

Customer licenses will run any build of HDR Light Studio up to and including the version date as shown in the License Management dialog. All subscription customers can run the latest releases. Customers with permanent licenses get 1 year of updates from the date of purchase, then need to renew their maintenance to update the version dates in their license files.

 

What’s New in the Carbon Release?

New Render View

New Render View
Pressing the Play button on the new Render View will start an interactive rendering session in the connected 3D software and display the image in the HDR Light Studio interface. Use LightPaint to click on the render to position lights and see the external render update instantly inside HDR Light Studio. Drag and drop Preset lights too.

The benefits:

  • Ideal for users with a single display – everything needed to create perfect lighting is now available inside HDR Light Studio’s interface. No need to juggle two interfaces.
  • For many lighting tasks, HDR Light Studio’s own renderer is no longer needed and can be closed. Freeing resources for your main 3D renderer during your lighting session.
  • Working directly on the final render enables better lighting decisions – seeing the light interact directly with the final shaders inside HDR Light Studio.

This new Render View is compatible at launch with the following 3D software and renderers:
3ds Max – V-Ray, Corona, Arnold, Redshift
Maya – V-Ray, Arnold, Octane, Redshift, RenderMan

We look forward to adding this feature to additional connections in the future.

“The best automotive and product design lighting tool just got updated and it’s impressive! Being able to see the V-Ray result inside HDR Light Studio, and work on top of it, allows the artist to produce high-quality images, faster and easier than ever! ”
Rusko Ruskov, VP 3D Production and Delivery, Chaos Group

Faster Area Lights
Area Lights performance has been significantly improved in HDR Light Studio’s own 3D renderer. Area Lights are now created, adjusted and soloed instantly – even when loading huge 3D scenes. This inbuilt renderer is the perfect pre-vis lighting tool when IPR updates are too slow in the connected 3D renderer.

3ds Max and Maya Connection Workflow Improvements
HDR Light Studio is now even easier to use with 3ds Max and Maya. The plug-in now creates the lighting setup for you – simply press Start and begin image based lighting. Bringing the 3D scene into HDR Light Studio is also a click away – press Play and the scene will be automatically imported.

Cinema 4D Connection Improvements
Redshift and VRAYforC4D 3 now fully supported
Press play in HDR Light Studio to import the Cinema 4D scene

Additional Improvements:

  • HiDPI display support
  • LightWave 2018 Connection support
  • Change the diffuse color in the Render View (HDR Light Studio)
  • Major speed boost to production renders containing Procedural Sky
  • Easier client setup with floating licenses
  • Now includes a selection of demo scenes
  • HDR Light Studio interface layout is stored on a ‘per connection’ basis. Ensuring a preferred interface layout is loaded when using HDR Light Studio with different 3D software.

How do I get my hands on it?

Don’t forget, we’re here to help. If you have any questions at all, please don’t hesitate to contact sales@lightmap.co.uk

Try HDR Light Studio - Free for 15 days

HDR Light Studio – Connections Chart

HDR Light Studio can work with a wide range of leading 3D software. We have made this chart to easily see the connection features that are supported by each connection.

HDR Light Studio - Connections Chart

Click here to open a PDF version that also includes full descriptions of all 6 features.

Requested version not supported

If you install a new version of HDR Light Studio or a Connection, you may see this message when you next start HDR Light Studio.

Requested version not supported (-6) HDRLightStudio. This is most likely due to your subscription/maintenance expiring.

requested-version-not-supported

If you have a permanent license of HDR Light Studio, this message is showing because the version of HDR Light Studio or Connection being used is newer than the version date in your license file. Continue reading

Jagged Edges

jaggies_header

Here are some tips to help you fix jagged edges on lights when using HDR Light Studio

STEP 1 – Do a Production Render

When using HDR Light Studio connected live with your 3D software, a lower resolution and non sub-sampled HDRI map is shared. The default resolution of this HDRI map is just 646 pixels wide. Even at this low resolution, this is more than enough to provide a really good impression of the lighting/reflections, it’s calcualted fast and updates fast in your 3D software. (You can change the resolution of this live image (proxy) using Edit > Preferences, and changing the Proxy Map size to a higher resolution)

If there is a procedural light with a hard edge seen at this lower quality and lower resolution, this can result in jagged edges especially if the light is seen in a smooth flat reflection, or see in the background. Continue reading

Felipe Mirez – “As an artist, be open minded”

We spoke with Felipe Mirez, Visual Director at Falcon Northwest in Medford, Oregon about his experience in working across different industries,  challenges he’s faced as a CG artist and how HDR Light Studio plays a key part in his workflow.

Congratulations to Felipe and his team for being awarded ‘Best Regional TV & Multi-Market Cable – Use of Animation’. 

felipe-mirez

Lightmap: What sparked your interest in animation and becoming a Multimedia Animation Artist?

Felipe: Long ago as a kid, I was watching Star Wars for the first time. I was awe-stuck looking by the animation and this is where it all began. I started pursuing stop-motion and 2D animations as hobby and I just couldn’t stop loving it. Fortunately, the new world of CGI started to flourish in the early 90’s and I was fortunate to witness and experience the trend. Continue reading

V-Ray and HDR Light Studio

HDR Light Studio let’s you paint your V-Ray scenes directly with light.
It’s fast, precise and improves image quality!

HDR Light Studio supports V-Ray and plugs into 3ds Max, Maya, Cinema 4D, MODO  and Rhino. As you light your 3D scene in HDR Light Studio, the plugin updates V-Ray RT in real-time. Welcome to interactive image based lighting!

Chaos Quote

Try HDR Light Studio - V-Ray

Continue reading